International Styles

Characteristics of Steel

In house furnishings steel is found in the form of cutlery, in a few of the better grade utensils, ordinarily of cast iron, and in the sheet foundations of the coated ware.

Steel is iron which has been greatly hardened by mixing with it a definite amount of carbon. This process has made it malleable, weldable, fusible, and capable of being tempered. The manufacture of steel is one of the greatest industries of this country. It is centered around Pittsburgh, Pa., because of the near location of fuel, coal, coke, and natural gas, which are needed in manufacturing.

Steel differs from cast iron, not only in the amount of carbon which it contains, but also in the form in which the carbon appears.

There are three kinds of steel, depending on the percentage of carbon which each contains. They are high-carbon, medium-carbon, and low-carbon steel. The kind used for cutlery is high-carbon, although some cheap grades are made of medium-carbon steel.

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